Two Frankford Roman Catholic Churches were shuttered- Mater Dolorosa and St. Joachim. St. Joachim closed its doors just last Sunday and it gates are now locked. But in the video, you will see that the faithful’s hearts and spirits are as high and as hopeful as this summer heat wave we’re experiencing. Just as St. Joachim has been there for us, we feel the need, now, to be there for St. Joachim to continue to give witness to our faith. Since it is a Worship Site, we gathered at the times our Masses used to be – Saturday, 4:30 PM, and Sunday at 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM. This was a holiday weekend yet for those of us here in the city we continued our struggle to demonstrate the need for a Roman Catholic Church in Frankford. We continue to be committed and united in our efforts.
Saturday night, my husband, Bob, my mother, Mary, and I went to Holy Innocents for Mass. The Saturday night Vigil Mass is 5:30 PM there. We couldn’t have been more warmly welcomed and the rich traditions of our Catholic rituals are very moving but it wasn’t “home”. Perhaps we would understand this better had we “answers” from those who closed our Churches. Our voices were never heard in the process but that does not seem to matter. “The decision has been made and we are not considering any changes”. Our feelings are certainly understandable as the sacred places that gave us roots and our sense of belonging and were a compass in our daily lives are not easily replaceable. So we kept St. Joachim company this weekend.
Here’s a link to a homily Pope Francis gave this weekend with Seminarians and Novices. Pope Francis tells them that God asks us to “Comfort, comfort my people (Isaiah 40:1) and that leads to mission”. As we shared our thoughts today one among us said that “comfort” was what was missing in our dealings with our Philadelphia hierarchy. We are told whenever we try to meet the Archbishop – not to confront, not demonstrating – to let him know who we are and to be seen, we are told like children that it is not the right time or place. But when is the right time and place? We are on “mission” and hope our prayers and actions “break hearts of stone”.
Join us as we plan to be at St. Joachim every weekend! Bring a friend! Rekindle your faith! Keep the Faith in Frankford!